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Issue 10

Featuring: Wild Edible Mushrooms; Canistel; Reversing Global Warming & Organic Agroforestry.

Tiger Run Farms – Home Of Running W Meats

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SETS NEW STANDARDS IN BELIZE WITH THEIR 5/8 EUROPEAN BREED BEEF Farm manager Abdala Bedran believes in following the leaders in the beef world: North America and Brazil. He stresses that reading, visiting ranches and taking short courses has been instrumental in setting directions for their beef herd. Ranchers long ago found that the European breeds (Bos Taurus) when crossed with one of the Brahman or Nelore humped cattle breeds (Bos Indicus) in a ratio of ⅝ European / ⅜ Brahman or Nelore, yields a superior carcass animal which is able to withstand tough tropical conditions. Running W has established a parent herd of purebred Nelore cows, which are artificially bred with imported Angus semen, selected for maternal traits. Cows…

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Observations of the Wild Edible Mushrooms

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At the risk of betraying my Italian heritage, I would like to share my observations with the rest of the mushroom lovers in Belize, who for whatever reason, have not had the time or inclination to get out there and search out the many excellent edible and medicinal mushrooms available here. Having hunted and eaten mushrooms from an early age, and thinking that the best mushrooms are found only in temperate climes, not being able to find all of those tasty European mushrooms was one of the few regrets I had in coming to Belize. Now, however, after a few fortuitous discoveries, I should not have worried at all; not only are there mushrooms here, there are also many of…

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To The Editor

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Dear Editor, The Fighting in the Citrus Industry Continues The fight for control of the citrus processing plant by two opposing groups continues to the detriment of the Industry. When will the Citrus Growers Association begin to behave like sensible business persons and stop the vicious character assassinations of industry leaders and the spreading of outright lies and misinformation? They are promising the small growers that when they run the factory all will be well and growers will receive much higher prices. The only ones who will gain from their actions will be the lawyers. Their latest public statements accuse Dr Henry Canton, the CEO of the fruit company with having lost over $27 million dollars, as well as a…

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Organic Production – The Choice of Organics…

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This edition, I will depart from the normal articles of stating how to grow organically, and divert the attention to why to grow organics. First, I must explain that I am not here standing on a soap box preaching that if you are not organic you will end up in a very hot place. I just want to present the middle-of-the-road approach to the items that we consume. The process of growing a vegetable or animal is presented with many decisions and choices along the way. To start a vegetable seed, it needs soil and fertilizer to ensure that it has the nurturing to start it on its way. This brings in the choices of nurturing. Conventionally, common soil is…

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Beyond the Backyard – The Golden Egg, Canistel

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Oh what beautiful seeds, brown and shiny like polished walnut wood, nestled in a bed of rich yellow meat and encased in a bright golden egg, pretty enough to be a Christmas tree ornament. This fruit conjures up archaic images of creation, Adam and Eve and temptation. Fortunately this fruit has not been tampered with, unlike the impotent seedless grapes, watermelons etc. which make a pretentious performance on supermarket counters but sadly no longer taste like the fruits of our childhood and certainly fail to have the nutritional value that nature intended with the creation of life from seed. The flesh of canistel is sweet and fluffy, appearing a bit like hard boiled egg or orange pumpkin. It should be…

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The New Black Gold – How Scientists are Reversing Global Warming and Improving Soils with 2500 Year Old Practice

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In the 16th century, Spanish explorers described the extremely fertile lands they had seen in the Amazon basin. But, it wasn’t until the 19th century that geologists discovered the reason. There were bands of dark earth (terra preta), created by the original inhabitants of the region, who added charred plant material (biochar) to their soil – soil, in which the local farmers of today continue to grow their crops successfully. Yes, centuries later, this same biochar continues to enrich the soil throughout the Amazon basin. “You couldn’t help but notice it. There would be all this poor, grayish soil, and then, right next to it, a tract of black that was several meters deep,” noted Johannes Lehmann, a soil scientist…

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Observations of Eugenia Spicata or Sour Peach

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I was first introduced to this fruit five years ago when I was enthusiastic about planting anything and everything on my farm and the more unusual, the better. A friend had handed the fruit to me which was roughly five centimetres in size, bright yellow in colour, with a skin resembling that of a peach. The most striking thing about the round shaped fruit was the smell; the fragrance was of a very sweet peach and it promised such sweetness and nectar-like qualities to the taste buds! My friend gave me a knowing smile and asked me to taste it; my facial expression said it all: the anticipated sweetness was not there but instead, it was as sour as a…

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Light Rein

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Hmmm…a tough decision to pick what to write about this time around. Of course, we just had our second leg of the TCER and Open Horse Show, so that would be easy. But the Belize Carriage Industry has been a topic for the past year that I haven’t talked about and should…Oh! and the fact that horses do founder on grass and can easily founder here in Belize, or the fact that just because it’s green does not mean it’s nutritious…or what about the different types of “grain” you can find here? Or HAY! That’s a 5,000 word article. How about the fact that many of the horses here need dental work, severely, but it is so tough to even…

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Triple Crown Endurance Horse Race – The BEST HORSE RACE IN BELIZE!!!

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The first two races have been fantastic! With great weather and having the course run on the beautiful cross country trails of the Belize Equestrian Academy, the events were amazing. And the third is yet to come! Belize has never seen a race where the competitors were given gift bags, comprised of a TCER logo string back bag filled with TCER T shirts, food goodies, Gatorade, Advil, bandanas, horse products from Uckele, TCER logo pens and bottle openers. Then handed large checks and trophies for 1st thru 3rd place… TCER was professionally run with two veterinarians on staff, Dr. Orlando Baptist of Roaring Creek and Dr. Sylvester Trejo of Belmopan, and TCER used Polar Digital Heart Monitors for accuracy and…

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Mangosteen – Garcinia Mangostana

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The Mangosteen tree at Dem Dats Doin is twenty years old and it started bearing fruit only four years ago. Generally speaking most fruit trees grown from seed bear fruit in three to seven years. Cultivating Mangosteen is a long term venture as it takes an average of about twelve years to produce fruit. This is probably why it is not a fruit seen in our local markets. However, we do know other people that have Mangosteen trees producing fruit in Belize. Before transplanting the Mangosteen to its current location, it spent three years in a grow bag in our plant nursery under 50% shade cloth. When we finally planted it, we ensured it had partial shade eventually allowing the…

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